Explore the Family Name Weir

The meaning of Weir

1. Scottish and English: topographic name for someone who lived by a dam or weir on a river, from Middle English, Older Scots wer(e) ‘weir; fish-trap’. Compare Ware and Wear. In northern England and lowland Scotland there has been much confusion with the Irish and Scottish Gaelic names in 2, 4, and 5 below. 2. Scottish: in Scotland, this surname was sometimes used for Gaelic Mac an Mhaoir ‘son of the steward’, more often Anglicized as McNair. 3. Scottish (of Norman origin): surname of a family of Blackwood (Lanarkshire), which is said to be descended from Ralph de Ver, a Norman baron associated with William the Lion between 1174 and 1184. The change in pronunciation from Vere to Were would be unusual in Anglo-Norman French, and the true source of the surname may lie elsewhere. One possibility is Wierre in Pas-de-Calais. Another possibility is that the surname may represent versions of the Norman surname de la Were ‘of the war’, a nickname for a warrior; see Warr. 4. Irish: shortened Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Mhaoir ‘son of the steward’ (see McNair). This surname was formerly Anglicized as McMoyer, whence Moyers. In Scotland it more often became McNair. 5. Irish: Anglicized form, based on an erroneous translation (as if from Gaelic cora ‘weir, stepping stones’), of various Gaelic names such as Ó Corra and Ó Comhraidhe (see Corr and Curry).

Dictionary of American Family Names, 2nd edition, © Oxford University Press, 2022.

How common is the last name Weir in the United States?

Based on the Decennial U.S. Census, the popularity of the surname Weir saw a slight change between 2000 and 2010. In 2000, it ranked as the 1,767th most popular surname, dropping to 1,903rd in 2010, marking a decrease of 7.7%. However, the total count of individuals with the Weir surname grew by 1.58% from 18,588 in 2000 to 18,881 in 2010. Even with this increase in count, the proportion per 100,000 people decreased by 7.11%, from 6.89 in 2000 to 6.4 in 2010.

Proportion per 100k6.896.4-7.11%

Race and Ethnicity of people with the last name Weir

In terms of ethnicity, the Weir surname encompasses a variety of identities according to data from the Decennial U.S. Census. The largest share belongs to those identifying as White, accounting for 89.72% in 2000 and decreasing slightly to 87.62% in 2010. The second largest ethnic identity is Black, which increased from 6.38% in 2000 to 7.12% in 2010. The Hispanic representation among Weirs also expanded significantly during this period, growing by 50% from 1.82% to 2.73%. The portion of Weirs having two or more ethnic identities rose by 20.45% while the Asian/Pacific Islander category experienced growth of around 34.09%. American Indian and Alaskan Native representation among the Weirs remained relatively stable, with a modest increase of 6.25%.

Two or More Races1.32%1.59%20.45%
Asian/Pacific Islander0.44%0.59%34.09%
American Indian and Alaskan Native0.32%0.34%6.25%

Weir ancestry composition

23andMe computes an ancestry breakdown for each customer. People may have ancestry from just one population or they may have ancestry from several populations. The most commonly-observed ancestry found in people with the surname Weir is British & Irish, which comprises 56.3% of all ancestry found in people with the surname. The next two most common ancestries are French & German (21.9%) and Eastern European (3.8%). Additional ancestries include Scandinavian, Italian, Ashkenazi Jewish, Spanish & Portuguese, and Nigerian.

Ready to learn more about your ancestry? Get the most comprehensive ancestry breakdown on the market by taking our DNA test. Shop 23andMe

British & Irish56.3%
French & German21.9%
Eastern European3.8%

Possible origins of the surname Weir

Your DNA provides clues about where your recent ancestors may have lived. Having many distant relatives in the same location suggests that you may all share common ancestry there. Locations with many distant relatives can also be places where people have migrated recently, such as large cities. If a large number of individuals who share your surname have distant relatives in a specific area, it could indicate a connection between your surname and that location, stemming from either recent ancestral ties or migration.

Based on 23andMe data, people with last name Weir have recent ancestry locations in United Kingdom and Ireland.

RECENT ANCESTRY LocationPercentage
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom88.40%
Greater London, United Kingdom88.40%
Glasgow City, United Kingdom88.40%
Merseyside, United Kingdom88.40%
West Midlands, United Kingdom87.90%

What Weir haplogroups can tell you

Haplogroups are genetic population groups that share a common ancestor on either your paternal or maternal line. These paternal and maternal haplogroups shed light on your genetic ancestry and help tell the story of your family.

The top paternal haplogroup of people with the surname Weir is R-CTS241, which is predominantly found among people with European ancestry. Haplogroup R-CTS241 is descended from haplogroup R-M343. Other common haplogroups include R-U152 and R-L2, which are predominantly found among people with European and European ancestry. Other surnames with similar common haplogroups are: Fletcher, Craig, Phillips, Thompson, Evans, Winters, Edwards, Roberts, Lloyd, Richards.

The most common maternal haplogroups of people with Weir surname are: H1, H, T2b. These most commonly trace back to individuals of European ancestry.

weirPaternal Haplogroup Origins R-M343

Your maternal lineage may be linked to Marie Antoinette

Because it is so dominant in the general European population, haplogroup H also appears quite frequently in the continent's royal houses. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian Hapsburg who married into the French royal family, inherited the haplogroup from her maternal ancestors. So did Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, whose recorded genealogy traces his female line to Bavaria. Scientists also discovered that famed 16th century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus traced his maternal lineages to haplogroup H.

Maternal Haplo Image

What do people with the surname Weir have in common?

Spoiler alert: it's complicated. People with the same last name are usually no more genetically similar than a randomly sampled group of people from the same population. That said, people with the same surname are more likely to have similar ancestries than randomly sampled individuals. The reason is the tendency of people with similar cultural or geographical backgrounds to preferentially mate with one another. That's why people who share a surname may be more likely to share traits and tendencies in common than people within the general population. Check out the percentages below to see the prevalences of tastes, habits, and traits of people with your surname compared with prevalences among 23andMe users.



Chocolate Ice Cream

Prefers chocolate flavored ice cream over other flavors.

"Weir" Surname 40.7%

23andMe Users 41.3%




When sounds made by others, like the sound of chewing or yawning, provoke strong emotional reactions in an individual.

"Weir" Surname 20.4%

23andMe Users 27.9%



Sugary Drink

Drinks one or more sugary drinks per day.

"Weir" Surname 21.0%

23andMe Users 21.1%




A severe headache characterized by intense pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and often accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

"Weir" Surname 15.9%

23andMe Users 16.4%

Are health conditions linked to the last name Weir?

The short answer is that, if there is an association between surname and health, it's usually more about your ancestry than your name. Individuals with a given surname are no more genetically similar than the general population but often have similar ancestries. The populations of people associated with those shared ancestries often have sets of genetic variations, also known as alleles, in common. Some of those alleles are associated with a greater likelihood of developing certain diseases.

Disease variant frequency by ancestry

Disease allele frequencies in populations associated with the surname Weir are shown below. Important Note: not everyone with a disease allele will develop these health condition

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Y402H variant

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss among older adults. The disease results in damage to the central part of the retina (the macula), impairing vision needed for reading, driving, or even recognizing faces. The 23andMe Health + Ancestry DNA test includes the two most common variants associated with an increased risk of developing the condition: the Y402H variant in the CFH gene and the A69S variant in the ARMS2 gene. Learn more about Age-Related Macular Degeneration

British & Irish 62.1%

23andMe Users 57.2%